FLOWERY BRANCH —Despite pulling within three twice in the fourth quarter, Flowery Branch (0-1) fell, 38-28, to St. Pius X in the Corky Kell Classic at Falcons Field.
The Falcons scored on the first play of the fourth quarter, thanks to a five-yard rush from Jaizen Ellingham that pulled The Branch within three, 24-21. Ellingham led the Falcons on the ground tonight with 68 yards on 13 carries and one score, while also adding three catches for 35 yards and a touchdown.
From there, St. Pius went on to waste over six minutes of clock on an 80-yard drive that resulted in a one-yard score for Jack Graham. Graham was the leading rusher for the Golden Lions tonight with 96 yards on 16 carries and one score.
Flowery Branch and second-year starting quarterback David Renard responded by marching down the field and pulling within three on his pass to Ellingham, but the ensuing onside kick bounced the Golden Lions way.
Renard finished the night 16-for-26 with 274 yards through the air, two passing touchdowns and an interception. He also ran for 29 yards, scoring the Falcons’ first touchdown of the season on the ground.
The Branch found themselves down quickly, as the Golden Lions forced the Falcons into a three-and-out on their first drive, and went on to score. Paul Quigley put the first points of the season on the board for St. Pius X, as he scampered 29 yards down the sideline and hit paydirt.
The Golden Lions added another eight points in the second, as Dennis O’Shea completed one of his two passes tonight for a 32-yard touchdown to RJ Brewster.
The Falcons got the ball back with a minute left in the second quarter and showed off their two-minute offense by scoring as time expired on the legs of Renard.
The Branch had success throwing the ball over the middle of the field tonight, particularly when Renard was rolling out of the pocket. Flowery Branch boasts two 100-yard receivers for the game, as Connor Larson hauled in six passes for 107 yards and Baxley O’Brien caught five for 102 yards and a touchdown.
However, the Golden Lions’ well-balanced triple-option attack proved to be too much for the young Falcon defense. St. Pius X posted over 400 yards on the ground but did not have a single 100-yard rusher on the night. Mason Benefield scored twice for the Golden Lions, each coming in the second half.
The Branch (0-1) will look to get their first win of the season next week when they travel to face Dawson County (0-1) who will be looking to do the same.
|ST. PIUS X||8||8||8||14||38|
S- 29-yard run by Quigley (2PT good, O’Shea pass to VerMeulen) 8-0, 5:33
S- 32-yard pass from O’Shea to Brewster (2PT good, O’Shea run) 16-0, 1:09
F- 11-yard run by Renard (Trujillo kick no good) 16-6, 0:00
F- 21-yard pass from Renard to O’Brien (Trujillo kick) 16-13, 7:14
S- 10-yard run by Benefield (2PT good, Bentley run) 24-13, 1:24
F- Five-yard run by Ellingham (2PT good, Larson rush) 24-21, 11:54
S- One-yard rush by Graham (Kirshcner kick) 31-21, 5:08
F- 18-yard pass from Renard to Ellingham (Trujillo kick) 31-28, 3:01
S- One-yard run by Benefield (Kirschner kick) 38-28, 1:17